A case shrouded in mystery: Strathcona Park hiker lost in 1977 was never found

A case shrouded in mystery: Strathcona Park hiker lost in 1977 was never found

Mt. Septimus in Strathcona Park, Duane Bressler’s destination before he disappeared  /  stock photo

By George Le Masurier

Update: Former Comox Valley Search and Rescue leader Mike Fournier has informed Decafnation that a tip from hikers led to the discovery of Duane Bressler’s body more than a year after he disappeared.

 

Hiking the trails of Strathcona Park can be one of the summer’s greatest pleasures. But it can also turn into a tragic nightmare. All it takes is a few steps in the wrong direction.

Last month, a Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team spent several days looking for Murray Naswell of Cumberland who got lost in Strathcona Park. In June, a Parksville area farmer died in the area of Mt. Donner. This week another hiker was rescued in the park.

But back in 1977, a hiker by the name of Duane Bressler, a 20-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, wasn’t so lucky — or was he? He was reported lost in the Flower Ridge area and, despite an all-out, two-month effort by the Comox Valley Search and Rescue team, he was never found, dead or alive.

Some think it was a case shrouded in mystery.

Here’s what I wrote about it in 1977.

The gentle slopes of the Forbidden Plateau are no threat even to the most inexperienced hikers if you stay on the trail. But elsewhere in Strathcona Park, Flower Ridge, for example, even well-marked trails can become treacherous let alone the dense brush that cowers in from all sides.

No one knows the perils of the forest better than the 30 members of the Comox Valley Search and Rescue team. A dedicated group of volunteers versed in survival, rope climbing and first aid, they are currently working on their 18th major search in two years.

Right now, the team is embroiled in a mystery case, they think might be resolved tomorrow.

A hiker from Wichita, Kansas, Duane Bressler, 20, was ambling along Flower Ridge with a group of companions. They began at the usual starting place at the south end of Buttle Lake and were apparently not rushing down the trail that leads to Mt. Septimus.

The ridge trail starts off easily enough but later becomes a dangerous edge falling off several hundred feet on either side. At one point. Hikes must shuffle along a rock ledge to traverse corners, holding on by crevices in the sheer walls. That’s no place for the foolhardy, even without a 50-pound backpack.

The group reached the 5,000 foot level of the ridge when they saw what they thought was Green Lake, their primary destination at the foot of Mt. Septimus. By trails, weaving around a few of these tricky rock ledges and circling around steep drops, the lake is about a half day’s hike.

Bressler, however, determined that by cutting across country, through the thick underbrush and down the steep side of the ridge, it would only take an hour and a half. He left the group on July 26 to save a few hours time.

He hasn’t been seen since.

His party waited two days for him at Green Lake before hurrying out to report his absence. That’s when the Valley search team was called in to find Bressler, who was last seen carrying a 100-pound pack with a fishing rod, canteens and other items tied on the outside.

Headed by Mike Fournier, the team airlifted into the area by a CFB Comox helicopter, and for the first week Sgt. C. H. ‘Chuck” Clements — the rescue hero injured in a 75-foot plunge last week — directed ground search operations.

It is now five weeks later, and the searchers have spent over five full 10-hour days scrambling over snags and checking under every bush.

Green Lake at the foot of Mt. Septimus in Strathcona Park

Bressler’s fishing rod was found broken near the Green Lake area, so it is believed he made it there. Not knowing how long it might take his companions to comer around the other way, Bressler could have waited at Green Lake for five to six hours. He might have thought they turned around and went back via the ridge trail.

He might have followed Price Creek, which runs from Green Lake to Buttle Lake, hoping to reach the starting point without climbing back up the ridge’s steep walls.

What puzzles the Valley searchers, though, is that besides Bressler’s cap turning up in a net stretched across the creek at Buttle Lake, there has been no other sign of the hiker.

They have searched extensively the whole area. Campbel River RCMP have used dogs up and down the creek. Parks branch personnel have searched. An infrared camera on a helicopter has scanned the area and no sign or smell has been detected.

Searchers discount the possibility of Bressler having been dragged off and devoured by an animal because his metal and plastic gear would have been strewn around everywhere.
Team member Wayne Jardine has even donned a wet suit and swam the creek’s deep holes behind log jams. Members Brian Evans and David Cronmiller have plodded through difficult terrains and scratchy salmon berry bushes. Cronmiller’s hands were reported severely injured from fighting through Devil’s Club — a bush sprouting millions of spines that embed themselves in your flesh. They are the plague of the woods in Strathcona Park.

Tomorrow, the team returns to search the final miles and a half of Prince Creek. They believe they’ll find something.

This last section was not searched before because vertical walls loom high on either side and it’s impossible to reach without ropes. At the bottom, several log jams have created pools that are perhaps 10 feet deep.

It is now suspected that Bressler might have followed the creek out of the woods, reached this section and was forced to inch his way along the walls at some height. He might have fallen. With a 100-pound pack — he was carrying, among other things, an inflatable rubber boat — he would have sunk right to the bottom of a deep pool.

Even if he hadn’t been knocked out, he might have been unable to release himself from his gear in time. His cap would naturally come off easily and float downstream.

The rescue team isn’t looking forward to a pleasant time tomorrow. Although they welcome a challenge to their abilities and skills, they would rather rescue live hikers than decomposed bodies.

It is an opportunity to remind would-be masters of the wilderness that over-confidence can be a killer.

And then, several days later, I wrote this:

Members of that dedicated group (the search and rescue team) were lowered by ropes into the rugged, final 1.5 miles of Price Creek Saturday to attempt locating the body of an American hiker last seen on July 26.

After an all-day effort of diving the deep pools and scanning the near-vertical walls enclosing that section of the creek, the team left without a single clue and even more baffled than before as to his whereabouts.

Officially, the search for 20-year-old Duane Bressler has been cancelled. Chances are his body will never be recovered and no one will ever know what happened to him. He might be found later this fall by an unsuspecting hiker, or perhaps next year. But for now, he’s just been swallowed up by the dark of the forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STRATHCONA PARK FACTS AND HISTORY

Strathcona Provincial Park, designated in 1911, is the oldest provincial park in British Columbia. Located almost in the centre of Vancouver Island, Strathcona park is a rugged mountain wilderness comprising more than 250,000 hectares. Two areas – Buttle Lake and vicinity, and Forbidden Plateau – offer a variety of visitor-oriented developments. The rest of the park is largely undeveloped and appeals primarily to people seeking wilderness surroundings. To see and enjoy much of the scenic splendor requires hiking or backpacking into the alpine regions.

Strathcona Park, designated in 1911, is the oldest provincial park in British Columbia. In the valleys and lower regions of Strathcona are forest stands that were already old when Captain James Cook of Britain’s Royal Navy landed at Nootka Sound in 1778, on the west coast of Vancouver Island a few kilometres from what is now the western boundary of the park.

Strathcona Park was named for Donald Alexander Smith, First Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, a Canadian pioneer and one of the principals in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. On November 7, 1885 Lord Strathcona drove the last iron spike into the twin ribbons of steel that united Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific at Craigellachie in BC’s Selkirk Mountains.

— BC Parks

STRATHCONA WILDERNESS INSTITUTE

The Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre at Paradise Meadows will be open 7 days a week from June 28th onwards for the summer season, with normal operating hours of 9.30-3.30. The Centre will be staffed by students hired under the Canada Summer Jobs program and by our cohort of energetic volunteers.

Summer programs include Nature Walks, Talks and Hikes with expert naturalists and guides on weekends through August and September.

 

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More Special | Uncategorized
CIC Director Greg Baute hopes to redefine cannabis breeding

CIC Director Greg Baute hopes to redefine cannabis breeding

Turning wooden bowls on his lathe is one of Cannabis Innovation Centre Director Greg Baute’s many hobbies /  George Le Masurier photo

By George Le Masurier

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
– Albert Einstein

 

Greg Baute, the director of breeding and genetics at the pioneering Cannabis Innovation Centre in Comox, is a scientist. And that means, if you can imagine, every day he will clone plants, phenotype them, explore terpenes, take DNA samples, conduct controlled pollinations and pour over pages of data compiled by a team of bioinformaticians.

Even if you don’t know what that means, you probably envision research scientists as people who eat, sleep and breathe graphs and charts of their collected data, upon which they will apply cold logic and reason. And even a short conversation with Baute, 33, will tell you this is partly true.

He can take you quickly and so deeply down a rabbit hole of information about plant architecture, genetics, sunflowers, or even wood turning on his shop lathe, that before you realize you have no idea what he’s talking about, you had believed it all made perfect sense to you, even though it did not.

Baute points out the traits of a wild sunflower from his birds eye maple desk, still under construction

But to fully understand Baute, you need to know that there’s another, equally powerful side to his scientific mind: his imagination. He’s dreaming about what’s possible beyond existing knowledge.

And that’s what pulled the Ontario native from a good job in California back to Canada to head up the world’s first cannabis breeding and genetics laboratory.

“In the 1960s, P. Leclecq was the first person to cross wild sunflowers, and he changed the sunflower growing business forever,” says Baute, looking up excitedly from an article on his laptop that he’s using to explain genomic selection.

“He produced 30 percent higher yields … it’s something that won’t ever happen again!”

Baute says cannabis is at that same level of opportunity today. And, because of legalization, Canada is the hotbed of cannabis science.

“Somebody in the next five to 10 years will make a similar discovery and define how cannabis is bred forever,” he said. “It happens only once. And it’s just too much fun not to try.”

A family of farmers

Greg Baute was born into a family of farmers. His great-grandfather started the family farm in an area of southern Ontario where most of Canada’s F1 seed corn is grown. His grandfather also farmed. Then, in 1985, his parents started an independent hybrid seed corn company, called Maizex Seed Inc.

Maizex Seeds initially produced hybrid corn for food grade corn and Canadian food processors, and also for the US wholesale market. Later, it developed hybrids for the Canadian market and entering products into provincial trials.

Baute recalls spending his summers detasseling corn in the family fields. It was an annual rite of passage for most Tilbury High School students, who were bussed to the fields to remove the immature pollen-producing tassels from the tops of the corn plants, and stomping them into the ground. It’s a form of pollination control, so the plants could be cross-bred to create hybrids.

He also remembers walking his parents’ fields and comparing plants with the hybrids they produced, a curiosity that inadvertently, he says, led to his passion to understand the process that causes it.

Baute earned a Biology degree from the University of Guelph, doing a thesis on how carrot flowers are developed for seed production. He studied molecular evolution, specifically hybrid rice, for his masters degree at the University of British Columbia.

During his work on the domestication and improvement of sunflower, which earned him a doctorate degree at UBC, Baute developed several hybrid sunflower lines now used in production around the world.

Before being lured to Comox, Baute worked as a trait geneticist, studying the “important and complex traits” in tomato.

“Where we are with cannabis today is where we were 100 years ago with tomatoes,” he said.

New Valley resident

Baute and his wife, Kasia, purchased a rural, two-acre property, just eight kilometres from the site of the future Cannabis Innovation Centre (CIC) near the Comox Airport. An easy commute for an avid cyclist.

If the CIC had been located in Vancouver, Baute says he might not have taken the job. But the opportunity for a more rural lifestyle sealed the deal, and the couple have found the community welcoming.

Baute and Kasia share an office in their new rural Comox home

“There’s a lot of pride in the Valley … there are good restaurants, and the brewery scene is quite good,” he said.

While the CIC laboratory and greenhouse are being constructed, Baute has set up a temporary office in his home. He built his desktop out of bird’s eye maple from a fallen tree, working in a shipping container temporarily converted into a makeshift wood shop.

He has built some of their household furniture, but Baute’s real woodworking passion is turning bowls on a lathe. There’s room for a full woodworking shop in a new garage currently under construction.

He’s also a runner and picks up his electric guitar a few times every week.

The couple have been landscaping around their new home, including a garlic bed, raised vegetable beds and preparing the site where Baute hopes to plant about 400 sunflower plants this spring.

Baute and Kasia met while both were pursuing undergraduate degrees at the University of Guelph. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in toxicology and a Master of Arts degree in medical genetics at UBC.

While Baute was working in California, Kasia did community service work at a bird sanctuary, hospice and at a community outreach shelter. She is currently working on a master’s degree in counselling, which is online through Yorkville University.

Typical day at the lab

When it’s finished early this summer, the Cannabis Innovation Centre will have a 21,000 square foot greenhouse broken down into seven isolated breeding zones, and a 10,000 square foot laboratory.

The facility was conceived and planned by Jonathan Page, PhD, whose Anandia Labs was bought out by Aurora Cannabis, of Edmonton, in August. Page was the first scientist to sequence the cannabis genome. He and his twin brother, Nick, grew up in the Comox Valley.

The CIC laboratory building is being pre-manufactured in BC with parts from Europe. The greenhouse is being prefabricated in the Netherlands — “the epicentre of greenhouse technology” — and should arrive on site sometime in February.

Baute takes a DNA sample from a sunflower plant at UBC while completing his PhD degree

When the CIC opens, Baute and his staff will be cloning plants and germinating seed, and finalizing the number of plants of each genotype they will grow, and how they will be arranged in the greenhouse. Throughout the grow cycles, they will collect data on growth habit, plant architecture and disease resistance.

“The process of recombination is totally random,” he said. “Like shuffling a deck of cards.”

The CIC will grow plants to seedlings, then take a leaf punch to test its DNA. They will throw out the ones they don’t want, and grow up the others.

“Sequencing one gene is less expensive than growing all plants to maturity,” he says.

For the nursery work (where they will produce seeds), staff will treat plants and bag them for controlled pollinations.

Harvest is the biggest job, especially at the CIC where each plant will be individually phenotyped as it is harvested. They will measure things like total biomass, total flower weight, how consistent the flower size is, the shape and color of the flowers and so on.

All along the way, Baute will gather information from each experiment that can feed into and influence the others. For example, he might find that upon harvest a plant has an exceptionally high yield, so he might use stored pollen from it to do more crosses.

“For me, this means a lot of coordinating projects and information between team members and working with them to make decisions,” he said. “The experiments will also influence, and be influenced by, all the other research that is happening across Aurora, which translates to me being on the phone for a good chunk of time each day.”

All the flowers grown in the CIC greenhouse will be destroyed after their value for research has expired.

Baute is in the process of assembling a team of scientists to work on site, and bioinformaticians who will mostly work remotely from locations around North America.

No transgenic plants at the CIC

Baute is careful to note that the Comox cannabis laboratory will be doing only marker-assisted selection, not making transgenic plants, which are commonly but inaccurately referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMO).

“GMO is an unfortunate term. What most people mean by GMO is transgenic,” he said. “Transgenic is an organism that contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced — it leaps over species barriers. It creates changes that pollination could not do.”

BT Corn, for example, has been modified with the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium found in soils that naturally produce a protein that selectively kills a few specific insect species.

But the CIC’s work will do recombination staying within the primary gene pool of cannabis to select for disease or pest resistance.

“Something that’s only achievable through plant sex,” he said.

Baute says that with cannabis there’s no need to engage in transgenics because there hasn’t yet been any scientific breeding. It would be years before there are such diminishing returns from breeding that other technologies would be considered.

“There are still gains in breeding tomatoes,” he said, noting that plant has undergone 100 years of scientific enquiry.

What’s next

Baute is anxious to get his laboratory and breeding program up and running, and so are other scientists who are now delving into the cannabis plant. As with every other scientific discovery in the history of humankind, it’s important who gets there first.

All other crops in the world have had game-changing breakthroughs, similar to the sunflower example cited by Baute.

“The reason it hasn’t happened yet for cannabis is not because science has neglected the plant. It’s been illegal,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A WITH ANANDIA LAB FOUNDER JONATHAN PAGE

Decafnation asked Jonathan Page, PhD, Chief Scientist for Aurora and the founder of Anandia Labs, a few questions about the Cannabis Innovation Centre and its Director, Greg Baute.

 

DECAF: What was it about Greg that convinced you to hire him for this important job?

Jonathan Page: A couple of things led me to hire Greg: he came highly recommended from colleagues I know well who all thought his set of skills in genomics and applied breeding were a perfect match for the Anandia job. One former supervisor of Greg’s told me he was a unique talent in Canada. This, and the fact that he visited Anandia and gave a great talk on his work with sunflowers, convinced me to hire him.

Decaf: What is the significance of Greg’s role as director of breeding and genetics?

Page: Greg’s R&D program and the Comox breeding facility itself will be world leading and one-of-a-kind. There is no other location in the US, EU, Australia or Israel that I know of that will have the facilities and know-how that we will have at Comox.

Decaf: What discoveries do you think the Cannabis Innovation Centre will make?

Page: I think there will be scientific discoveries made at Comox, and they will come from identifying the genetic basis for certain traits such as disease resistance and flowering time. These will revolutionize how cannabis is grown.

Decaf: What is your hope the CIC will ultimately achieve?

Page: I hope the CIC achieves three things: that it helps solve many of the challenges in cannabis production, and this makes it possible to grow cannabis with fewer inputs and concerns about contamination; that it furthers a scientific understanding of cannabis; and, that we create an environment in Comox that attracts scientists that are creative and innovative. In effect, we are not just building a cannabis lab but a think-tank for cannabis science.  

 

 

 

DEFINITION OF TERMS
USED IN THIS ARTICLE

F1 hybrid seeds refers to the selective breeding of a plant by cross pollinating two different parent plants. In genetics, the term is an abbreviation for Filial 1 – literally “first children.” Crossing two genetically different plants produces a hybrid seed. This can happen naturally, and includes hybrids between species (for example, peppermint is a sterile F1 hybrid of watermint and spearmint). These F1 hybrids are usually created by means of controlled pollination, sometimes by hand-pollination. 

Phenotype — (from Greek, Modern phainein, meaning ‘to show’, and typos, meaning ‘type’) is the composite of an organism’s observable characteristics or traits, such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior (such as a bird’s nest).

Terpenes — There’s something about the aroma of cannabis that soothes the mind and body. Terpenes are what you smell, and knowing what they are will deepen your appreciation of cannabis whether you’re a medical patient or recreational consumer. Secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD, terpenes are aromatic oils that color cannabis varieties with distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine.

Detasseling corn is removing the immature pollen-producing bodies, the tassel, from the tops of corn (maize) plants and placing them on the ground. It is a form of pollination control, employed to cross-breed, or hybridize, two varieties of corn.

Recombination —  A process by which pieces of DNA are broken and recombined to produce new combinations of alleles. This recombination process creates genetic diversity at the level of genes that reflects differences in the DNA sequences of different organisms.  Thus, recombination is one of the important means to promote and increase genetic diversity between generations.

Sources — Wikipedia, gardeningknowhow.com, nature.com, biologyonline.org, yourgenome.org, greenrelief.ca    

 

 

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Game changer, but not a game winner

Game changer, but not a game winner

If voters pass electoral reform, the work just gets started

By PAT CARL

I’m a big-time college basketball fan. Men’s or women’s basketball, it doesn’t matter. If a college game’s on, I’m glued to ESPN. Other big-time fans know that a basket at the buzzer won Notre Dame the 2018 NCAA Women’s National Championship on April 1. What a way to win the game!

Unlike Notre Dame’s game-winning Hail Mary basket, if the majority of voters support electoral reform in BC’s November referendum, we will have only a game changer, not a game winner. In fact, the game would not be over at all because the hard work would just be beginning.

Why?

If electoral reform passes, British Columbians must learn to trust those who have worked hard to maintain the first-past-the-post status quo. Supporters of the status quo must, in turn, learn to trust those who supported proportional representation. Beyond that, legislators must learn to collaborate, to find common ground, in order to complete government business.

That won’t be easy.

Let’s try to understand how difficult that might be by using a personal example: my family.

Like some of yours, I’m sure, my family is split down the political middle. For years, my parents were confirmed Democrats (most like Liberals in Canada) because they loved Franklin D. Roosevelt and his necessary social reforms. Later, they became Republicans (most like Conservatives in Canada) because they couldn’t morally support a woman’s right to choose.

They raised four children. Two of us strongly believe in social justice, economic safety nets and environmental stewardship, while the other two believe just as strongly in individualism, growing the economy and small government.

I don’t know how to have a conversation with two of my brothers.  They don’t know how to have a conversation with me.

Sound familiar?

Now take that family dynamic and apply it to BC. How can we avoid creating an unbridgeable divide between first-past-the-post supporters and proportional representation supporters?

For one thing, during the lead-up to the referendum vote, both sides could refrain from exaggerating how wonderful its position is and how terrible the other one is. There’s enough of a difference between first-past-the-post and proportional representation to simply state the unembellished facts and let the voters decide.

Why not embrace nuance rather than exaggerated claims that sound like first-past-the-post and proportional representation are characters in a Shakespearean tragedy?  

We need to ask: What portion of the first-past-the-post arguments and what portion of the proportional representation arguments are true; what portion is exaggerated to the point of being untruthful or divisive?

Finally, the general electorate must take seriously the gift we enjoy and the responsibility we have living in a democracy. We must challenge ourselves to become politically literate by investigating the issues, by understanding that issues are seldom black or white, and by voting thoughtfully and wisely.

We and our legislative representatives will be far more likely to work collaboratively post-referendum if, during the lead-up to the referendum, we honestly and civilly discuss the issues. The less baggage we accumulate as we debate electoral reform, the easier it will be to accomplish good governance after the referendum.

Remember: Unlike a game-winning basket, if electoral reform happens, the game changes, but it’s not over.

Pat Carl is a member of Fair Vote Comox Valley. She wrote this for Decafnation’s Civic Journalism Project. She may be contacted at pat.carl0808@gmail.com.

Exclusive images of Field’s Sawmill after it closed

Exclusive images of Field’s Sawmill after it closed

After the timber company Interfor closed Field’s Sawmill in 2004, they authorized Merville photographer Tim Penney to document what remained of the iconic Courtenay business. Penney visited the site in November 2005 and captured images with Nikon D100 and D200 cameras of the abandoned sawmill, which had been left undisturbed after the last working shift. The house builder and cabinet maker by trade has made photographs since 1955. 

Penny has shared some of his images with Decafnation. You can enjoy them here.

 

Social Studies 4.10.2017

The connection between Passover and Easter

The Christian holiday of Easter and the Jewish holiday of Passover occur almost at the same time every year. Why is that you may wonder?

Here’s a link to help you understand their connection and their differences.

http://www.identitynetwork.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=54200&columnid=

Reason No. 436 why we should start over on another planet

According to new estimates from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, there will be more than 3.6 million drones flown by hobbyists over American soil. That would be more than triple the number flown today.

There have been 770,000 new drone registrations in the U.S. in just the last 15 months.

Also, a post on a Facebook group page for a particular tropical beach community. “I’m thinking of visiting. Can a drone be flown over the beach?” Privacy? Relaxing holiday? Forget it.

The Trump Newsletter

A new poll why Quinnipiac University shows that 52 percent of American voters find Trump embarrassing. Only 27 percent are proud of the president. Trump’s latest approval rating of minus-22 percent is based on the percentage of voters approving of his job as president (35) and disapproving (57).

Ignorant politicians keep trying to find alternate reasons for global warming

The latest absurd attempt to explain climate change that excuses burning fossil fuels and other human-related causes comes from a Republican (what a surprise!) running for governor of Pennsylvania. Scott Wagner, a sitting state senator, acknowledges global warming but attributes it to the Earth’s “rotation” moving closer to the sun, and also human body heat as a result of population growth.

First, the good news. He recognizes the Earth is warming and that population growth on an overly-populated planet is not a good thing.

But physics experts say the energy from the sun surpasses the energy from body heat by at least a million times. So the claim is absurd.

Also, the Earth “rotates” every 24 hours, but its revolution does take it closer to the sun twice every year, and then further from the sun twice. That’s because our orbit is elliptical, not circular. But there’s no evidence the revolution is changing.

Obituary: Tom Amberry

The Decafnation doesn’t usually publish obituaries, but this one is special.

Tom Amberry, who died recently at age 94, was a North Dakota native and California podiatrist. But about 50 years ago, the 6-foot seven-inch WWII Navy veteran was offered a lucrative contract to play professional basketball for the Minneapolis Lakers (which incomprehensibly moved to Los Angeles). He turned it down to study podiatry.

But, his basketball skills never left him. He stepped up to the free-throw line at a gym near his home on Nov. 15, 1993, at age 71, and, in front of 10 loyal (but probably bored) witnesses, spent the next 12 continuous hours draining 2,750 shots in a row. (Check out the video.)

At the time, he was quoted as saying, “I could have made a bunch more. I was in the zone, as the kids say.” Unfortunately, the janitor wanted to go home.

That’s a guy worth writing an obituary about.

 

Social Studies 02.27.2017

Yes, we know it’s now April. So we’re a little behind. We took a vacation, okay. Chill.

The Decafnation has left its sickly, lifeless existence behind

The Decafnation has left its sickly, lifeless existence behind and transported ourselves to an all-inclusive tropical oasis, where we can eat 15 meals a day and the steel drummers outnumber the the guests. We’ve traded our medical masks for scuba masks, and our serious hats for floppy hats.

So, while we enjoy a complimentary sunset and another free umbrella drink at the tiki bar, we suggest you endure the next two weeks of rain, snow and blustery winter nastiness by rereading every single word on the Decafnation website. We’ll be too busy eating to think of you, but have fun. See you on March 19.

Right now, we have to limber up for the fire-walking limbo contest.